Dimitrios Grammozis: Use the energy from the stands
On Friday (13/8), the VELTINS-Arena will celebrate its 20th anniversary. A fitting event for the occasion is FC Schalke 04’s home game against FC Erzgebirge Aue at 18:30 CEST. “We want to use the fans’ energy and try to give them more via our performance on the pitch,” said head coach Dimitrios Grammozis. “We will be playing in front of around 20,000 supporters again, which will be a great feeling.”
The visitors have begun the season with goalless draws against Nürnberg and FC St. Pauli, while they lost in the first round of the DFB-Pokal 2-1 away to fellow 2. Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt. Grammozis and his coaching team have analysed all three of their matches to date this season. “Aue haven’t conceded a goal against two strong teams and were unlucky to lose in the cup. We’re expecting them to push us to our limits.”
According to the coach, Aue, under new boss Aliaksei Shpileuski, play at a high intensity. “In their three games so far this season, they have looked to stay close to their opponents to be there for the second balls. Aue prefer a more vertical style of play. They don’t look to keep the ball for too long, but rather get it forward quickly to try and create chances.”
We’re expecting them to push us to our limits.
Grammozis wants his side to have variety in attack on Friday night: “We want to get into their box as often as possible and create chances to shoot. However, we will need patience and have to keep our structure if we want to be successful.” The 43-year-old was particularly pleased with how his side managed this in the second half at Villingen last Sunday.
On the right path
The players’ commitment will also be key for matchday’s 3 meeting with the Violets. “The second division is very even. You can’t afford to only give 97% or 98% in a game, otherwise it will be tough. If we manage to play to our best, we’ve got a good chance of winning this game,” commented Grammozis.
Despite a huge turnover of players this summer, the Greek coach believes his side is on the right path. “There are, however, things we need to work on still. We’re overall on the right track, although there’s plenty to improve on.”
Centre-back Malick Thiaw should be available again to face Aue, having rejoined full team training this week. He went off injured in the 3-0 win in Kiel and subsequently missed out on the trip to Villingen in the DFB-Pokal last time out. Grammozis will definitely be without captain Danny Latza (LCL injury), Salif Sané (individual training programme after knee problems) and Matthew Hoppe (stomach bug).